It took almost the entire season, but Luka Doncic is finally hitting the rookie wall. Not running straight into it, really, but more like gently nudging it while running alongside it. As the season lurched into February with Doncic actually speeding up instead of slowing down, I was hopeful that he’d be one of the first rookies in NBA history to avoiding hitting it. Alas!
I think he would’ve been fine if he wasn’t so chubby. Being chubby, unless you’re some sort of freak like Charles Barkley, doesn’t work in the NBA. It’s hard enough for the fit players. For the fatties, everything takes just that much more effort, and when you’re doing hundreds of thousands of things in a season (I’m counting individual steps here), that’s a lot of extra exertion. I consider myself pretty fit, and a pretty decent runner, but strap some ankle weights on me and I start dry heaving after a few dozen meters. A few dozen more, and I’m lying face down on the side of the road waiting for death to take me away.
That’s what Doncic has to deal with every game. The dry heaving, the waiting for death. Give him a real offseason of real NBA training (with maybe some Fortnite on the side), and he’ll be even more of a beast than he already is. Can you imagine a version of Doncic with more explosiveness? He’s already enough of that to dunk twice in a game (but three dunks, no way), but I’m imagining him turning into a white, tall John Wall with a better jumper. Is that unreasonable? No.